For years now the weather forecast has rarely, if ever, been accurate. Naturally, last week, I refused to believe that we were getting a cold spell with rain, wind and snow. I smugly believed my wax begonias and geraniums would be fine in my unheated, attached to the house green house. Usually I get them accustomed to being indoors in stages. I was about to bring them into the back room when we had several freezing nights.

Remarkably, the geraniums survived but not the begonias. I’ve had geraniums make it through some late fall freezes outside so I know they are quite hardy.

Sadly, I ripped up most of the begonias. One thing I like about myself is my resourcefulness. I used the soil and pots to finish planting the rest of my spring bulbs.

I know! I go on about being able to plant them late into the season if you can get into the ground, but, frankly, I was skeptical last Friday and Saturday. They should bloom early in the pots.

Sunday’s warm rain was a welcome relief. Do not get me wrong . . . I do love snow, but not quite yet. There is still much to be done outside.

Violet and I have been admiring various Christmas outside decorations in our daily travels. We do make fun of the blow-up Santas and Frostys during the day. They seem to be sad plastic puddles until evening when folks reinflate them.

Christmas is a time of reflection and perhaps a little sadness. It is easy to get nostalgic about all that has passed. Why would this year be any different?

As I mentioned last week, I’ve been busy going through my mother’s belongings. I found my Grandma Kate’s Dresden plate quilt made in the 1920s or 30s. It’s a beauty with all hand-stitches. She was consistent in her nine stitches to the inch. I remember her telling me about her and her sister during the hard times of the depression. Kate had 12 children but would stitch quilts like crazy and sell them for $5. I cannot imagine.

I do know I’m grateful to have the quilt. It represents some hard work and artistry.

On Sunday morning I received news of the death of my friend Karen Berube, nee Allen. An Island girl, she had many stories of how it was here in the 1950s and 60s.

Married to David, she was an extraordinarily hard worker. She could cut scallops like the best of them after she and David spent many a cold morning on the Island ponds.

She fought the good fight against breast cancer for a decade, never wavering in her grace, good humor and gratitude for all the good in her life.

I would be remiss in failing to mention her countless friends (you know who you are) who stood by her with household chores, errands and evening meals. It makes one proud to live in such a caring community.

To David, you took seriously that vow made years ago — “in sickness and in health.” Good job.

My life is richer for having known Karen. She picked me up hitchhiking when I arrived here in May of 1970 and pretty much entertained me ever since. Goodbye, my friend. Vaya con Dios!